Shed Matters 3

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Stanley
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 26 Nov 2019, 09:31

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The first order of business was to finish machining all the faces on the cylinder. Nothing exotic about this, just careful machining finishing up with breaking all the sharp edges and cleaning the small amount of flash up that remained. Then check all the measurements and they are OK, not exactly to drawing but that can be allowed for in machining the associated parts.

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Next I went to my castings and picked out the ones that are associated with the cylinder. That was when I hit a problem.

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The problem is that the design of the castings doesn't match what is needed. This mismatch is so glaring that I can't believe I haven't missed something but after a lot of thinking that got me to knocking off time, if there is something I can't find it. I shall come back to this fresh tomorrow morning and see if I can make sense out of what I'm looking at. At the moment it's a puzzle!
One other matter that I have been forgetting. Not many amateur sheds have a tool and cutter grinder. Even fewer have an inmate who has taken the trouble to get to an adequate level of proficiency. I'm sure many of you will remember my sharpening binges when I sharpened all my cutters for both the horizontal and vertical mills. I just want to say that at no point in that process was I wasting my time. Both the slab mill and this end mill perform perfectly. That's a matter of great satisfaction to me.
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 27 Nov 2019, 09:20

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I have decided that it is Stuarts who are wrong and on that basis I will have to rectify their shortcomings. I started with the base casting for the cylinder which is of course also the bottom lid. These aren't generous castings, there is very little meat on them, not up to their usual standard. First job was to get the worst of the flash off the edges so I can grip them properly and accurately in the milling vise. So, a few minutes with a big smooth file.

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Here we are under the mill. The aim is to get the base square and somewhere near the target of 2". As you can see, because of the section my hold is minimal and I'm cutting a long way from the support, add to that it's brittle cast iron. So tiny cuts to keep stresses down and also because I have no metal to spare. I won't bore you with it but it took longer than it should have done. But, I achieved my target with no cock-ups.

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Off with the 4 jaw independent and on with the 4 Jaw SC which will work because I haven't done a bad job of getting the base square. I used the ball bearing push tool to get the face as near flat as the fact it's a rough casting will allow. You can see the mistake Stuarts made, the casting had a boss and a gland cast in it. The casting doesn't need either and needs a perfectly flat bottom. Once again I have minimal hold on the edges and so careful cuts and lots of them. Rushing here can only be bad!

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Knocking off time, it's square and within 30thou of the size they asked for and has a perfectly flat base. Tomorrow I'll have to set it up so it's reversed so I can work on the cylinder side.
Ticklish work but I've made good progress with no mistakes. That'll do me!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 27 Nov 2019, 12:43

Later, news from Stuarts that the column is in the post, they had a delivery from the foundry yesterday. I am happier.....
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 28 Nov 2019, 09:15

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What's he up to this morning? I'm going round the long way to do something very simple. The bottom lid is only 1/8" thick and grabbing it to machine the top face means less than that to give clearance. So it's important that I mount it accurately and securely. The best way to do that is to turn up a slug I can put inside the jaws with two parallel faces so that I can mount the base lid accurately and securely. As I say, the long way round but in the end the most efficient.

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I parted it off and incidentally got it wrong, I had to use a packing piece but it still worked.

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Mounted up and cutting. Very careful cuts and it went well.

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After a bit of cutting and careful measuring I was here at knocking off time. The base lid is flat and parallel and the register fits the bore. Now I need to sink a recess in it but that's not as easy as it looks and I wanted to listen to Melvyn Bragg and 'In Our Time'! No rush.....
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 28 Nov 2019, 13:57

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Stuarts have delivered, the column and a replacement for the defective cylinder. Good service.
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Whyperion » 29 Nov 2019, 00:10

Most of this is beyond my time level and skill, but I wonder, there is (well there are many, ) CAD programs, cheap like Sketch-Up, it might be of interest to design castings and get a local? casting company to do them, it would be cheaper presumably to the businesses that would put a mark up on their suppliers.

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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 29 Nov 2019, 09:26

Not worth the effort and no cheaper. It's the patterns that cost the money.

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Other matters got in the way but I managed to find time to get in the shed and finish the base casting off including boring a 5/16" recess in the centre of the base.

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It sits nicely on its base and we know the register is just right. Next job is to convert this rough casting into a functioning top lid. This one of course does need a gland for the Piston rod. So I know what I am doing tomorrow.
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 30 Nov 2019, 10:00

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Today is top lid day. Remember castings aren't straight or even concentric so grab it however you can and straighten the face you are working on with the push tool. It works like magic at very low speed.

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As usual, do any boring after this first cut, you will never have it more concentric.

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Ready to come out of the chuck, I've opened up the 3/16" bore to 5/16" for the gland and notice I have marked the PCD (Pitch Circle Diameter) for the gland and lid bolts. Last touch. just break the top edge of the lid.

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Ready to cut off the cast in boss that I used to grab it in the first place. I've straightened it with the push tool, note that I only have hold of about 1/16" of the periphery of the lid so some careful light cuts are indicated!

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A bit later, it has an accurate register and I have cleaned up the as cast section round the gland which can't be turned. I shan't do anything else to it, it's a casting!

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Next thing is the steam chest and the first task was to get it in the vice and clear the flash off before we do any measuring. So into the vice and out with the files!

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This was knocking off time. The steam chest casting looks a bit better and is ready for machining.
Nice morning and all went well. Lovely!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 02 Dec 2019, 09:50

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Steam chest day. First job was to get the drawings out and do a fag packet drawing.

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First thing was to get two true faces and get the thickness right, 7/16".

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There is very little meat on this casting and so the next job was to get it in the vise and start filing!

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Quite a long time later! I have all the surfaces clean including the internal dimensions.

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Now we have the steam chest to size, the next job is to get the lid ready for fitting, first job was to grind the flash off one side which had a big gate on it.

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Once I had two parallel sides to the right dimension, I could go looking for a flat face.

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Milling rough castings is hard on HS cutters (and even carbide ones!) so I decided before I went any further I wanted to sharpen the cutter.

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This is knocking off time, I have a sharp cutter and a face to work on. That'll be a good start for tomorrow. A nice productive two hours.....
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 03 Dec 2019, 09:48

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Sharpening the cutter was a good idea. (I don't know how anyone manages a mill without a tool and cutter grinder.) I think you can see the difference in the first cut this morning and the last yesterday.

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I have two faces and two edges. The easiest way to square the ends is like this. At the same time I brought them to the right size to fit the steam chest.

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Here we are, a lid, steam chest and cylinder valve face all matched to each other. Polishing edges and surfaces will come later.

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I got the remaining 'to-do' castings out of the box. The outrigger for the crankshaft, the beam and the column. I decided to do the column next.

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The first thing to do was grind the gate off the end then get the drawing out and do a fag packet guide.

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Nothing is square or accurate so the first thing to do is get some properly sized and oriented reference surfaces. I decided on the sides of the base. Here we are set up as accurately as possible with a rough casting. Accuracy can start when we have proper references. The only thing I did here was to make sure the base finished up at the finished dimensions with an allowance for final polishing. In fact it doesn't matter much, the positioning of the holding down bolts is far more important.

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A bit of careful work and measuring and we have a base that is slightly undersize because the casting had no meat to spare but as I said, that's OK.

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Because I have a perfectly square reference, I can mark a centre on this end. I have to mount it in the lathe to do the next lot of machining. Incidentally I have watched others doing these columns and they all attempted to turn the surface of the column itself and ran into problems because the casting wasn't perfectly concentric. I am going to leave it as cast but cleaned up superficially by other means. It doesn't matter if it's slightly out of centre, it's the machining of the base and the top of the standard that counts.
It was knocking off time, I shall attack the other end tomorrow... Good morning, I've enjoyed myself again!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 05 Dec 2019, 09:32

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First job was to do the same job as yesterday, get the other end, the capital of the pillar, square and the correct size. Minimal cuts because there is no spare metal at all.

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Once I had both ends square and the right size I could locate a centre on both.

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I can get the pillar in the lathe now with both ends centred. As I forecast, the cast pillar is not concentric in the casting but that doesn't matter, it's the ends that matter and as it never moves, the fact it's not centred won't be obtrusive.

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I faced both inside faces without accentuating the eccentricity of the pillar, hand work will clean any discrepancies up.

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On the same setting I took a light cut across the base. I had to use the parting tool to get in and got a bit of chatter but nothing serious.

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I couldn't quite get to the centre on either end so I took that off with a big smooth file to clean them up. By the way I had reversed the pillar in the lathe and cut the capital back to the correct overall size, 6" long. Then I put the lathe up to its highest speed and gave the pillar itself a good going over with emery. Not to make it smooth and polished, just to improve it to the point where it's clean and will still look like cast finish when painted.

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Knocking off time. Another casting ready for other operations and finishing. nice morning, I enjoyed that!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 07 Dec 2019, 09:40

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Today I operate on the outrigger for the flywheel shaft. PUBLIC HEALTH WARNING! For two reasons, no measuring was done and all the operations are by guess and by God. The reasons are: There are no straight surfaces to start from and second, the drawing is minimal, doesn't show a cross section and there no measurements at all.

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I just grabbed it the best I could and started cutting surfaces.

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Last job was to put a surface on top of each mounting point.

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Here we are at knocking off time. I have worked on the assumption that like all the other castings there is no spare metal so all the cuts are the bare minimum to get a finish where I needed it. I shall spend some time on it with a file tomorrow to blend in the ribs that aren't square. The flat surfaces will be left as cast. The old engine builders only machined where they had to!
No disasters (very possible this morning!) and a clean result. Nice!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Tizer » 07 Dec 2019, 11:08

I've put a link here to an OG page where I mention Perma-Grit Tools Ltd. Readers of this forum might be interested in their products. LINK

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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2019, 03:38

Never come across them until you mentioned them Tiz. Looks like good stuff and tempting but I have spent too much on books!
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Re: Shed Matters 3

Post by Stanley » 08 Dec 2019, 09:03

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First job was to sharpen the two milling cutters I used, casting skin is very hard on a fine edge. I don't know how people manage without a T&C grinder!

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Then on to the main task, cleaning up the outrigger using a big flat file. Not as quick and easy as it looks but at knocking off time it's in good shape and all the edges are broken.

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